Arboretum Cohousing is built on the sacred ancestral lands of the Ho-Chunk (Hochungra) people. 
We acknowledge the inhumane treatment and forced removal of the First Nations of Wisconsin. 
We recognize our responsibility to sustainably protect and care for this land. 
We commit to redressing historic and ongoing harm.

How We Began

Arboretum Cohousing was started in 2003 by a small group of people affiliated with the Madison Meeting of the Society of Friends (Quakers).  We were lucky to find a potential building site early in the development process.  The group spent several years meeting, planning, fundraising, coordinating with City officials and neighbors, and marketing before formally buying the land from our neighbor, St. Mary’s Hospital, in August of 2007.  Construction began the next day, and most members moved in one year later.  We were helped throughout development and construction by the generous financial assistance and enduring patience of St. Mary’s, and by support in many forms from neighbors, the City of Madison, local non-profit agencies, and our families and friends.  We are especially grateful for help we received from the members of Madison’s flagship cohousing community, Village Cohousing.

04 Topping Off Celebration 3-28-08 001

“Topping Off” Arbco — a Scandinavian custom of erecting a pine tree when the highest point on a new building is reached.

Arbco in summer.

Arbco in summer.

The Basics

  • Number of households: 40
  • Types of homes: 2 new multi-family buildings with 29 units; a duplex built in partnership with Habitat for Humanity; a triplex with 3 rehabbed townhouses;  6 free-standing houses kept from the original site.
  • Unit sizes:  from approximately 750 SF to approximately 1500 SF
  • Size of site: 2.2 acres
  • Location:  1 mile from the University of Wisconsin campus; 1 mile from downtown Madison [ insert map link]
  • Number of people:  90 as of February 2015
  • Number of children:  28 as of February 2015
  • Age range of members (as of February 2015):  3 months to 85 years

A young Arbcoteer with their father.